Education is an intrinsic right, one, which helps mould individual personalities and forge great nations: it is a tool as it is a weapon. A tool, which has been constantly obstructed and denied by the State of Israel who spends 10% of its GDP on its own education system, with blatant disregard for the 40 000 Palestinians students which it has deprived of an education to for this academic year. Palestinians require education as an alternative means of resistance so that they can assess the problems in their society, which have precluded them from ending the illegal occupation.
In response to this, the LSE’s Palestine Society has taken an active stance to not only raise awareness about Israel’s orchestrated means of undermining and crippling the development of the Palestinian society as a whole, but also by pioneering dynamic initiatives such as the opening up of LSE’s electronic resources (within copyright restrictions) to Palestinian Universities.
As a university of the Social Sciences, we recognise the necessity, importance and power which education provides us with and we bear a duty to promote this to other students less fortunate than ourselves. With the support of academics and the majority of the student body, the LSE is aiming to create a strong foundation upon which Palestinian universities can share our resources and build strong links between students, whether this is through letters, Facebook or Skype, it is the principle that there is on-going communication between students, sharing of knowledge and hence galvanising hope for people persecuted in their own land.
This progressive initiative will offer the Palestinians a whole new perspective on matters, however will most importantly highlight the LSE standing in solidarity with not only the Palestinians but also with the core values and principles that define our society – justice, freedom and the right to education. Core values and principles audaciously violated by the State of Israel.
Talks are already in place with other British Universities to follow in suit: the LSE’s Right to Education Campaign aims to mobilise and strengthen partnerships between UK and Palestinian student bodies and professors, so that united we can strategically challenge the prevalent injustices faced by Palestinian students.
We may not be able to participate in peace talks or have direct pressure over the actors making the decisions, but we can empower the Palestinian students with a gift far more sustainable and superior than money – education. Through education a stronger more united society will develop, a more aware, creative and inspired generation will be shaped: a generation that will seek peace not through the injustices of Israel or through the ideology of Hamas.